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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Huddersfield retailer in Court

JCS Convenience Store Limited fined £2,852.43 for selling vapes to underage customers

On 12 June 2024, Mr Yousif Kais, the Director of JCS Convenience Store Limited failed to appear at Kirklees Magistrates Court to answer charges relating to the sale of a disposable e-cigarette to a 15-year-old child from his business, JCS Convenience Store, 607 Wakefield Road, Huddersfield, HD5 9XP.

In his absence, the Magistrates found the company, JCS Convenience Store Limited, guilty to offences under the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 and the Children and Families Act 2014. The Magistrates issued the company with a fine of £660. The company was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £264 and costs of £1,928.43, totalling £,2852.43. The amount was to be paid in full within the next 28 days.

The case was launched after West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service received a complaint from a member of the public that the business was selling vapes to children.

In November 2023, a 15 year old volunteer entered the shop under the supervision of a Trading Standards Officer and asked to buy a vape. The seller sold an SKE Crystal Sour Blueberries flavour disposable e-cigarette to the volunteer for £5.00, without asking for identification or challenging their age. It is an offence to sell electronic cigarettes containing nicotine to a person under the age of 18. Mr Kais was interviewed on behalf of the company at a later date where he stated that he does tell his staff that they must ask for identification when selling age restricted products and, if this is not provided, then the sale must be refused. However, Mr Kais did admit that there is no formal written procedure or training in place at the store and that the company does not operate a Challenge 25 policy. He offered his sincere apologies for the sale.

David Strover, Trading Standards Manager – Business Services Team said, “the sale of vapes to children should not be happening within our communities. We wrote to this business to make them aware of complaints we had received and informed them a test purchase may follow. The health risks associated with juvenile use of vapes should not be underestimated. Vapes are an adult product suitable for ex-smokers – the sale of vapes to children is unacceptable. Retailers need to ensure they have systems in place to avoid selling vapes to minors and train their staff accordingly.

I would like to thank all the partners and members of the public for reporting illegal sales and encourage everyone to continue doing so to reduce the harm caused by vapes and tobacco in our communities.”

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